Congalton
No, belief in God is not a mental disorder despite what many of the liberals and atheists might assert. Though there are those with mental illness who believe in God, there are also those with mental illness who do not believe in God. Believing that there is a divine being who is the creator of all things and who orders our lives is very rational, especially when we consider the complexity and vastness of the universe, the intricate design of the human body, the diversity of life, the beauty of love, and the reality of the concept of information in DNA. Are we to conclude that these things occurred merely because of the physical laws of the universe? Is the super complex arrangement of the nucleotide bond pairs in DNA nothing more than the manifestation of materialistic laws and chemical reactions? Or, is the information contained therein evidence of a creator? Let me give an illustration.

Let’s say that you and I are walking along a path in a forest discussing the issue of believing in God. We come across a pile of 3 stones. Then, a few feet later there is a pile of 5 stones, then a few feet after that a pile of 7 stones, and so on up 101. These are prime number stacks of stones.1 Would it be more logical to conclude that the stones were arranged in this pattern by an intelligence or by random events in that forest? Obviously, we would assume that somebody was there before us and put the stones in the pattern.

The DNA molecule is incredibly more complex than a series of prime numbers arranged along a path. So, are we to conclude that it is the product of the self-arranged atoms? Or, is it more logical to say that it is a product of intelligence? After all, do we know of any place where randomness and physical laws produce information? I know of none. But, we do know that information is the product of intelligence. So, which is more rational to believe: that randomness or intelligence brought the information into existence? In fact, would it be a mental illness to say that super complex information structures, which require incredible ordered patterns of precise regularity, are the product of randomness?

Unfortunately, many who assume that belief in God is a mental disorder assume that their own position, atheism, is automatically the right position to hold. They commit the fallacy of begging the question. That is, they assume their position is true and then argue from it without any defense of their position. Atheism cannot be shown to be the right intellectual position to hold regarding whether or not God exists. Even when an atheist hides behind the intellectually vacuous “I lack belief in God” position, atheism, along with his materialistic worldview, cannot account for our existence, absolute morality, or information structures found in DNA.

Now, I ask you, which is closer to a mental disorder: believing there is a sovereign and divine creator or asserting that randomness and physical laws brought us the universe, beauty, love, moral absolutes, and super complex information structures?

by Matt Slick

This article is seeking to provide a faithful rendering of the Scriptures. I intend to define the doctrinal dispute and show that God does perform miracles today but not through ‘miracle workers’. A miracle being a supernatural event such as turning a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

My assumption is that our omnipotent Living God, Yahweh, can do as He pleases. Scripture attests that His miraculous works continue today, at the very least, in saving unbelievers. However, for the purpose of this article I will define miracles such as those seen in three distinctive biblical eras: Moses, Elijah and Elisha, and Christ and the apostolic eras.

The doctrinal issue under question is continuism versus cessationism. A cessationist says that the Apostolic gifts of prophecy, tongues and healing (by nature all miraculous) ceased at the death of the Apostles. Those Apostles were appointed to establish the Church, Matthew 10:2,3, 16:18 and are defined as those personally appointed by Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 1:1. Cessationists understand apostolic gifts passed away with the establishment of the Church , that being the spotless bride of Christ, Revelation 19:7,9, Ephesians 5:25,27. We are now desiring higher spiritual gifts and a more excellent way, 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1, but what is this excellent way and these higher gifts?

The Continuist makes the case that these gifts are tongues, prophecy, signs and wonders, as seen in the apostolic era. Furthermore, they do not recognise that the Apostolic era has finished, 1 Corinthians 12:28. Today men and women assume the office of Prophet and Apostle; Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua), Thomas Dexter popularly called T. D. Jakes, etc. The Latter Day Saints claim to have modern prophets that follow in the line of Joseph Smith. The Pope as one who can speak, Ex Cathedra, and can speak infallibly, is by inference a continuist.

Paul dedicated an extended portion of his letter to the Corinthians to gifts, particularly tongues. Important texts for the continuist includes 1 Corinthians 12: 4,10, 28, 1 Corinthians ch 14:1, 5, 18. When Paul wrote this letter the New Testament scriptures had not been completed. However, with the Canon closed and the Bible being a progressive revelation we may, by spirit guided exegeses of the bible ‘speak prophetically’. Does this direct us to understanding the meaning of seeking the higher gifts? Does this help us understand why such emphasis is placed on maintaining sound doctrine in the Pastoral Epistles, dividing the Word with care, and calling out false teaching, Romans 16:17? This would lead me to believe that the higher gifts are interpreting the word, 1 Cor 2:10, teaching 2 Tim 3:15,17, speaking prophetically through scripture, proclaiming the Gospel – sharing the love of christ.

Texts to support the continuists position include: Joel 2:28, Mark 16:18, Acts 2:17. Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry is a continuist. He quotes Romans 14:5 to support his claim that this is a non-essential issue . And says: “Interestingly, 1 Cor. 1:7 may be consulted, It says, “so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Greek word here for “revealed” is apokalupsis. It means the apocalypse, the return of Jesus. In both this verse and 1 Cor. 13:8-13 the gifts, which aren’t differentiated as to kind, are connected to the return of Christ not the completion of the Bible. One more thing, the word gift in the Greek is charisma. This is where we get the word ‘charismatic.”

Miracles allow Prophets and Apostles to Authenticate their Appointments

Christ’s signs convinced Nicodemus, recorded in John 3:2, that Christ was from God. A contextual reading of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles helps us understand the purpose of miracles. In Acts 5 we see that it is by the hands of the Apostles that signs and wonders are regularly undertaken. We see that a multitude of men and women became believers at that time and people are brought for healing to the Apostles. There is no indication that as a result of their belief they too went home to continue with miraculous healing.

Given the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, John 14:17, and Christ’s promise that whatever you ask in my name it shall be given, Matthew 18:19, and 21:22 and Mark 11:24, surely can I not invoke the miraculous through the power of prayer? I too can take on the mantle of healer, speaking in the name of Jesus Christ.

First let’s consider the role of the person of the Holy Spirit, why was He sent? Christ says He is sending a helper. We are also explicitly told the Spirit’s role of convicting people of sin thereby showing them their need to be saved from their condemnation under the law John 16:8. This is reiterated in Acts 5 where we see the person of the Holy Spirit, as a witness to Christ’s exalted position at the right hand of the Father. We see how it is the indwelling gift from God the Father, who allows the believer to be a faithful witness to the saving work of God the Son.

So this power we see is not to undertake miracles it is in fact a power to go, a power to proclaim and a power to overcome the trials, anguish and persecution that comes from being a follower of Christ, Matthew 5:11. We must treat with determined caution those who would offer demonstrations of godly powers through miracles. When the Devil himself challenged Jesus Christ he used Scripture, Psalm 91 but went no further than verse 12, knowing that verse 13 echoed the protogilion, “..and the serpent you will crush under foot.” Christ rebuked him saying not to put the Lord your God to the test. The man who would claim to be working miracles on behalf of God is in a fearful place if he remains unrepentant when death seizes upon him.

Christ is inviting faithful prayers. He knows that the born again believer with a contrite heart is seeking unity with his Lord. He is providing disciplinary authority to those he has commissioned to go and make disciples. Moreover, He is offering assurance that prayers are answered. We only need see our Lord’s anguish and prayers at Gethsemane, Stephen’s prayers as he is being stoned or know the fate of any of the Apostles to realize that this is not an invite to summon up enough faith to work a miracle but to enjoy the faith that comes through belief. It was Jesus’ will to see the Father glorified, John 12:28 ,and that will be the will of the born again follower who believes his Lord.

Continuism is the bedfellow of limited assurance, offering experiences as evidence of trust in the promises of God. The Israelites moulded a golden calf, the Pharisees wanted signs and the fickle crowd hounded Christ. In the same way the continuist leads his narrative with anecdote, and experience as an outward sign of his inward spirituality. It is within the continuist community that I meet those whose assurance of salvation rests on little more than walking an aisle, signing a prayer card, getting baptized or groaning in the spirit. The primary difficulty for the continuist is discerning if the workers of great signs and wonders Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24:24 are wolves or shepherds. How do they identify the lawless one, 2 Thessalonians 2:9?

Continusists are fond of anecdote, making experience of God at work in people’s lives as a means of corroborating their position. However, if scripture is sufficient why bother? It is the Gospel that is the power unto salvation, Romans 1:16, not signs, 1 Corinthians 1:22,23. Jesus said they have Moses and the prophets, they’re not going to believe even if someone is raised from the dead, Luke 16:31. Moreover, their position has a profound difficulty, for if I as a cessation tell them I have a word from the Lord telling them that their position is wrong they have no basis for contention!

It is the Holy Spirit who keeps us orientated on Christ. For in addition to helper in time of persecution, the Holy Spirit helps us understand His written word. The Holy Spirit will be with us that we may never forget it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom and that if we stray from our Father’s House our diet will be nothing but indigestible pigs’ fodder. In so doing He will point us to Christ and bring us to our knees in glad and penitent worship. The cessationist knows his Jeremiah 17:9 heart, and knows the Genesis 6:5 proclivities of man. God is no longer performing miracles through His prophets and Apostles but He is still performing the miracle of turning rebellious hearts of stone to repentant hearts of flesh .

PS. Finding myself in a different camp doctrinally to a theologian like Matt slick, who I respect and trust is interesting. However, as christians we learn to disagree, agreeably, and in issues that are non-essential be prepared to, dare I say it, change!

I dialogue with an enthusiastic and engaging biologist on Twitter. He has staked a truth claim that the Bible is replete with contradictions. Given that God’s Word is inerrant, 2 Timothy 3:16, “all scripture is God breathed”, this is a counter intuitive claim. However, there are reasons for this unbeliever reaching his understanding and primarily it is because he lacks the fruits of repentance. He has not put his trust and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 2: “the spiritual things of God are not understood by natural man”.

I am offering here a rational which might even be apparent to the secularist, for Jesus made it clear in the Gospels why he spoke in parables, Matthew 13:13, “so that hearing people would not understand”. You see the Bible explains that it is “the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom”. In other words, “you do not reason to God, you reason from Him”, for apart from him you could not reason; Colossians 2:3, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

In this blog I aim to refute Ollie’s claim that Leviticus 9:6 is contradictory. I am using material gleaned from http://www.genesisnet.info Fundamentally we know that God’s Word is without error, so there cannot be contradictions. “While there may be many theories and ideas that contradict the biblical narrative, the facts never do”. Take for example the biblical flood. Most scientists deny that there was a global flood, preferring theories surrounding tectonic plate movements to explain why there are sea shell fossils in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. That’s true for we know that there was catastrophic movements in the earths surface when God flooded the world, however, if there had been a global flood you would expect to find millions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. Did you know that today we find, millions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth?

Theories and ideas my contradict the biblical account of world history, but the facts never do. Now let’s address the apparent contradiction of Leviticus 11:6 that says hares are ruminants:

The Bible truly isn´t a scientific textbook. The ruminating hare is mentioned in a different context: the command about unclean and clean beasts. Now in what way is the hare a ruminant? Let´s have a look in the encyclopaedia. Grzimek´s Animal life describes it in the twelfth volume:

“Morot published his observations concerning mucus-covered gastric pills of rabbits in a French veterinarian magazine in 1882. Besides a normal solid form of faeces these animals produce a second one – soft, moldable balls that are taken in and swallowed unchewed right after their deposition. They are collected in a certain region of the stomach (in the cardia region) and digested again. This way parts of the food pass the intestines twice and are macerated more effectively. In some way, this double digestion is similar to the rumination of most cloven-hoofed. The faeces (caecotrophe) is produced in the vermiform appendix and there strongly enriched with vitamin B1. Quoting studies of Scheunert and Zimmermann it contains four to five times more vitamins than normal faeces. For the lagomorphs the appendical or vitamin-faeces is essential, it probably also helps them to survive longer periods of fasting in suboptimal weathers.” (Italics not in the original.)

By the way, a friend of mine told me that his children watched the coprophagia of hares without knowing about this certain peculiarity. (I needn´t say, that they didn´t find it very appetizing.) What my friend´s children found out today has as well been noticed 3000 years ago. People didn´t “invent” the ruminating of hares – they just could observe it as well as modern zoologists.

What conclusion can we draw from this? The ruminating hare serves as an example that the Bible does have scientific relevance, certainly the remarks are not textbook-like, but do serve other purposes. The hare doesn´t belong to the bovidan ruminants, it belongs to another mammalian order than the other ruminants. Leviticus 11 doesn´t talk about zoological systematics. But whatever is described, is correctly presented in an illustrative, comprehensible way. For this, the coprophagous hare is a good example.

khali-bestjpg
Has Kahli broken the strict codes of the liberal intelligencia? Tolerance and diversity is a strange bedfellow for the liberal elite who claim that all beliefs are equally valid.

It seems the latest victim is Khali Best. Did he say that there is only one name under heaven by which men may be saved? Looking to the authority of the Bible is strictly off limits. Maybe he made mention of the fact that men and women are created in the image God, with equal value dignity and worth, the same but different. That would be a terrible contravention. The last thing the BBC needs is a loose canon suggesting that somehow a monogamous marriage between a man and woman is the safe, healthy and right place to bring up children.

What about being old fashioned ghetto rapper who speaks his mind of what he believes regarding sex, men, women and life? A short period of correctional training, establishing correct patterns of thought for Mr Best before he is invited back into the multi cultural world of the BBC is necessary. Unless he responds to the agenda like the Russell Brands of the world then no more mainstream for you my son.

Bridge
What’s the point in engaging with people who claim atheistic convictions? If their worldview is such that they deny the God who gave them the very breath, reason and senses they are employing to deny what they know but suppress that truth, is there any purpose? The bible explains that whatever they believe, they will be without excuse. God’s divine nature eternal power is apparent through his creation.

From a human perspective there is no point engaging. If Cyril Smith didn’t repent he is paying the price for his perversions. However, that’s not the end. For God is rich in mercy and while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He gave his life for all the unbelievers, rapists, atheistic abortionists, liars and perverts. Justice and mercy cannot co-exists from a human perspective but God, the creator of all things, who is truth, and love, can forgive all who truly repent.

Originally posted on Slave to the King:

prayer “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So also you, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17: 7-10 ESV)

Those of us who are born again Christians, wretched sinners made clean and redeemed by the blood of Christ, are called to be servants of our great and glorious King. Knowing we have no right to be in His presence, we willing[ly] bow the knee and submit to the authority…

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The religion of Pastafarianism, followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), has been thought of as make believe, a story akin to the tooth fairy or Santa. It has no history, no foundation in knowledge and truth and was a construct of a high school student in the US who applied his presuppositions about the origins of the universe, life, the human conscience, and the laws of science, maths and logic.

However, there is is a formula, passively accepted by millions, supporting the FSM. It has credibility amongst the atheistic and naturalistic communities and surprisingly, the supposed strict empiricist community. These folks accept the formula that a really really long long time + chance + nothing = everything (RRLLT+C+N=E). Following this reason then the FSM is a credible god.

Enough people now accept that nothing created everything, through the auspices of a big explosion that unlike every explosion since, didn’t produce chaos but order and design. The immaterial created the material, none-life created life. Therefore the laws of logic, and reason can be by-passed to believe in the FSM, after all it works for the religion of atheism and the religion of agnosticism (I don’t know/can’t know).

Of course there is an alternative and that’s to listen to your conscience, con (with) science (knowledge) repent and believe the Gospel.

Are you seriously going to dismiss thousands of years of biblical history founded on the life and works of Jesus Christ and exchange it for irrationality? Do you have faith and trust in scientists and philosophers whose theories are forever changing? I mean seriously. Do you cherish your sin that much that you would forfeit your very soul for a season of vanity and pleasure?

Get a life.

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